Headless body

How did I create this picture?

I created this picture using a digital SLR camera set up on a tripod. I took two photographs, one of the background and a second with the model lying on the ground. I shot the images in raw format, this format retains the image quality when manipulating the pictures in Photoshop.

I transferred the image files on to the computer easily. Once I opened the pictures in Photoshop I duplicated the original background layer (Cmd J), this meant that I could change between the layers and refer or revert back to the original layer if needed.

I selected and pasted the image with the model lying down as a new layer on top. Using the Quick Selection tool I selected the head of the model and deleted the selected area. I zoomed in and used the Magic eraser tool to ‘rub out’ remove any edges that were left behind by the Quick selection. By using these two remove techniques I completely removed the models head from the photograph and the background layer showing the carpet beneath was displayed. This created the final headless image.

What worked well?

The use of the tripod to take two photographs from exactly the same position worked really well so that I had a background shot the same as the shot with the model. The techniques used to remove the head were simple and effective.

How can you improve the picture?

I could have positioned the model or camera so that the missing head is more obvious, add more surreal imagery to picture. I could have got the model to turn over, and taken a third photograph. I could then have combined the legs and feet pointing downwards with the headless body facing upwards. I could have experimented with some melting effects on the models body to give the effect that the model is melting into the carpet.

How does this fit in with your theme of surrealism?

This fits in with my theme of issues of surrealism, it shows an object, the model, in a slight absurd way. The image at first glance looks normal, but the fact that there is something missing makes you look again.

How can I develop this idea?

I could make the image more surreal by combine another image adding a different head of an animal, an oversized image of a squirrels head, a head of a rocking horse or an oversized boot.

I could try to incorporate a large arm or hand coming through the window holding the models head, a school of fish swimming outside the window to imitate a flock of birds.

Overlay the body on a different background such as water so the body is floating on top of water instead of in it.

 

 

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